Canada is experimenting with a prescription drug the US wouldn't dare touch

Heroin. In a move that's sparked debate across the Canadian health industry, 202 addicts are poised to receive the nation's first-ever shipment of legal prescription diacetylmorphine—commonly known as heroin.

Straight reports the long-vilified opiate will be available at the Crosstown Clinic in East Vancouver, British Columbia.

There's a catch, of course: Only users who participated in a three-year treatment study launched in 2011, called the Study to Assess Long-term Opioid Maintenance Effectiveness (SALOME), will be eligible to receive it.

“They expect to be in a position to order the medication any day now,” Adrienne Smith, a lawyer with the Pivot Legal Society, told Straight. “And then it takes 55 days to ship, so it's expected to arrive at the end of the year.”

Zak Cheney-Rice reports

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